Who are You When No One is Looking?

"Any nuts-and-bolts leadership primer will explain that one of the key leadership competencies is holding others accountable...While this is an important dimension of leadership, it is easy to slip, when it comes to accountability for our own behavior...And as we all know, when there is a disparity between what you tell others to do and what you do yourself, people will believe your actions and not your words. The fallout of this scenario is an erosion of trust, one of the high prices we pay for lack of self-accountability...

"So what strategies can you adopt to be more...self-accountable...?

--Go through a formal 360 Leadership Assessment process or simply get hold of a leadership assessment form and use it to reflect on how others in your team would rate you on each dimension...

--At the end of each day, when you clear your desk before you head home, take a few short minutes to mentally go over your day. Think about significant conversations you held, meetings you attended, emails you sent and other actions you undertook.

Are you proud? Could you have done better? This will inspire you to plan your next day around your highest purpose. Getting into this habit of introspection will pay dividends in the long run.

--Decide to hold yourself accountable for developing other leaders. By mentoring a protégé to enhance their personal and professional growth, you strengthen your own leadership skills and reinforce your determination to be self-accountable as you become the model.

--When something goes wrong, look inwardly for solutions...When a mistake is made, do you ask: "Whose fault is it?" or do you say: "What can we learn from this?" or "What can I do to improve this situation?"...

--Write out your personal and professional goals with clear targets. Read them once a week. Are your day-to-day actions aligned with your values, your standards, your philosophy of leading?...If your answers to these questions are negative, what is causing this? What insights does this give you? Use this information as a means to spur you to action rather than guilt.

"Moliere, 17th century French dramatist, said: 'It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.' Is there anything that you are avoiding doing that needs to be done? For example, are you putting off a difficult conversation? Are you delaying any important decisions? Are you delegating away responsibilities that should stay in your court?

"Self-accountability, then, is staying true to ourselves despite difficult circumstances. It's doing the right thing even when we are tempted to bend a few rules for expediency's sake. Perhaps Deborah Lee put it best: "Self-accountability is who you are when no one is looking". It's also the best antidote to feeling victimized by circumstances and in so doing, frees up precious creative energy for us to accomplish what matters to us. Above all, it entails owning up to the consequences of our decisions and choices, because there is no choice without accountability."

Quotedfrom this article from mindtools.com by Bruna Martinuzzi that is worth reading in its entirety.